NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - From the we-are-not-making-this-stuff-up department comes news that Rex may keep the big week leading up to Mardi Gras pleasant and dry.
That would be a weather phenomenon meteorologists call "The Rex Block" as opposed to Rex, King of Carnival.
Bob Breck, FOX 8 chief meteorologist, explains the Rex Block occurs when an area of high pressure forms on the map north of a low pressure system, in this case a ridge of high pressure over Washington and Montana coupled a trough in the southwestern U.S. The high and low tend to work in concert to lock in current conditions for a number of days, Breck explained.
"The atmospheric movement slows down so that the people that are cold and snowy stay cold and snowy," Breck said.
The Rex Block occurs at about 30,000 feet up in the atmosphere, where the pilots fly, but has brought an extended period of dry and mild conditions on the ground in Louisiana.
"It slows the pattern and movement on the planet down," Breck said.
Forecasters say South Louisiana should experience daytime highs of 60-65 through Friday, with colder temperatures arriving this weekend.
"We should stay very pleasant as long as you're dressed for it, especially at night," Breck said.
Ironically, Rex the weather phenom will not last long enough to help Rex, the King of Carnival. Breck expects the high pressure to dissipate before Carnival Day. The long-range forecast calls for showers on Fat Tuesday and much colder at night, although seven-day outlooks carry higher margins of error.
"That may hold off and Mardi Gras might not be bad," Breck said.